Passengers hit by a storm on a Royal Caribbean cruise line cling to railings as intense gusts rock the ship and send debris flying, videos show

  • A Royal Caribbean cruise was battered by gusts of rain and wind before its departure Friday.
  • Passengers shared videos of patrons sliding along the deck during the storm.
  • The cruise line says no serious injuries or damage occurred as a result of the storm.

Insider Today

Passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship ran for cover as umbrellas, chairs, and other furniture flew around them during a sudden, spectacular storm that struck Florida's Port Canaveral on Friday.

As the Independence of the Seas prepared to depart, strong winds and rain battered the 15-deck ship. In multiple videos posted to YouTube and Twitter , passengers are shown slipping and sliding across the decks while attempting to get safely inside.

The ship departed for the Bahamas despite the storm and arrived at CocoCay on time, according to a Royal Caribbean statement to Insider. The company called the storm "brief" and said there were no serious injuries to crewmembers or passengers.  

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Passengers took to the internet to describe their personal experiences. 

"Instead of telling people to come up to the top deck when we have a severe thunderstorm warning, maybe you should be more worried about your guests and employees and tell them to get inside," tweeted one passenger who filmed the storm .

Jerry Pike, a photographer and Florida local, told Insider he watched the storm hit the Independence of the Seas while sitting in a car in Jetty Park facing the port. Though the storm lasted only minutes, he said it was "exceptionally strong." 

—Jerry Pike (@JerryPikePhoto) June 16, 2023

Pike estimated winds reached between 40 and 50 miles per hour at the height of the storm, which he added was "terrifying" to watch. A meteorologist for Fox 35 reported winds reached from 55 to 60 miles an hour at their peak strength. 

"The Independence was just getting battered by winds as it was trying to push off the dock," Pike said. "Then [it] was covered by the gray cloud of rain and we couldn't see more than 20 yards out the window."  

The storm is just one of many expected to hit the Florida coast as hurricane season begins in the Atlantic Ocean, which runs from the beginning of June to November 30.

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Passengers are sharing videos and speaking out after a cruise ship was hit by a storm while departing from a port in Florida. High winds caused by the storm sent items on the deck flying. The company said a sudden gust of winds hit the ship during its departure but no one was seriously injured. NBC News’ Guad Venegas reports. June 25, 2023

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Port of Miami Cruises Delayed Due to Weather (Possibly 60,000 Passengers Impacted)

Sunrise in Miami

The Miami area has been hit by wild weather over this weekend with strong wind gusts and heavy rain. Official data counted about 1.2″ in the Miami area officially on Saturday, but wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour also hit the region. As well, tide levels reached moderate flood stage, causing havoc:

We’ve seen wind gusts as high as 56mph along parts of the South Florida coastline. The constant onshore wind is pushing us into moderate flood stage during times of high tide, about 2.2 feet higher than normal. #Miami #FLwx — Brandon Orr (@BrandonOrrWPLG) December 17, 2023

As of Sunday morning, the port announced on its website and Twitter that due to the weather, “all PortMiami cruise ship boardings and departures will be delayed.”

The notice says cruise passengers should contact their cruise line for more details.

There will be a delay on Sunday, December 17th embarkation due to recent weather conditions. Please contact your cruise line for instructions and more information. — PortMiami (@PortMiami) December 17, 2023

Given this delay is occurring on a weekend when more ships end their trips and begin new ones (known as “turnaround day), it has a significant impact on a large number of passengers. A check of ship-tracking site shows Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas in port with MSC Divina, with Oceania Insignia and Norwegian Encore in the process of docking. Meanwhile, several other ships sit offshore, waiting their turn to come into port.

Typically ships arrive in port early in the morning, between 6-7 a.m. local time. As of 11 a.m. local time today, many ships had yet to dock.

All told, nine cruise ships are scheduled to be in port today before heading back out this evening:

  • Scarlet Lady (carries 2,770 passengers at double occupancy)
  • Oasis of the Seas (5,602 pax)
  • Grandeur of the Seas (1,992 pax)
  • Norwegian Encore (3,998 pax)
  • MSC Divina (3,078 pax)
  • Oceania Insignia (698 pax)
  • Carnival Horizon (3,960 pax)
  • Carnival Celebration (5,374 pax)
  • Vision of the Seas (2,050 pax)

Combined, these ships have a passenger capacity of roughly 30,000 at double occupancy . Considering that the passengers both debarking and embarking are impacted by the delay, that could mean roughly 60,000 passengers in total will be affected if the ships are sailing full.

This no doubt includes a number of passengers with flights home scheduled for later today that will likely have to be rescheduled.

If you have a cruise arriving or departing Miami today, then your cruise line should be in touch with instructions . No matter what, it’s important to pack some patience as an already busy day in port is set to be even busier.

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NBC 6 South Florida

Videos capture terrifying moments of Royal Caribbean cruise caught in bad weather

A spokesperson for royal caribbean said the turbulence did not last long and there were no serious injuries., by monica galarza and kaitlyn schwanemann • published june 23, 2023 • updated on june 26, 2023 at 7:27 am.

A sudden storm hit a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, sending passengers running for cover as furniture flew around the deck.

Passengers had just boarded the Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas docked in Port Canaveral in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and were about to depart for the Bahamas when gusts of hurricane-like winds hit the ship.

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Videos shared on social media show lounge chairs and tables flying across the deck.

One video captured the terrifying moment when a lounge chair narrowly misses a woman carrying a small child and hitting her stroller. Fortunately, the stroller was empty.

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Another video shows cruise guests running from the turbulent weather.

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said the storm did not last long and there were no serious injuries reported.

The cruise was able depart for the Bahamas and arrived at CocoCay on time, the spokesperson said.

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@cornettahh Another angle from the 6/16/23 squall that hit #independenceofthesea while docked in #PortCanaveral around 4pm. It hit so fast and was gone in a matter of minutes! No ship announcements were made before or after so people on the lower pool deck were hit completely without warning. 😳 #hurricaneseason #floridaweather #cruiseship #royalcaribbean #chaos #ocean #sea #squall ♬ original sound - Cora Cornett

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Chaotic videos show Florida cruise passengers hit with chairs, debris during severe weather while in port

Videos show people running for shelter as the chaotic scene unfolded aboard royal caribbean's independence of the seas..

FOX 35 in Orlando spoke with cruise ship passengers who were onboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas in Port Canaveral, Florida, when wild weather moved in.

Wild weather causes chaos on cruise ship

FOX 35 in Orlando spoke with cruise ship passengers who were onboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas in Port Canaveral, Florida, when wild weather moved in.

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Passengers say they were caught off guard by severe weather as they were boarding their cruise ship at Port Canaveral in Florida last week.  

According to a report from FOX 35 in Orlando , cruisers weren’t even out of the port on Friday when the thunderstorm moved in quickly. People were running to seek shelter as the chaotic scene unfolded aboard Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. 

Jenn Stancil captured video of the storm moving in – completely covering another cruise ship in the water as people ran to safety . The passengers can be seen scrambling to get out of the pouring rain as deck chairs were flying through the air, even hitting some people.


Video recorded on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas shows deck chairs flying through the air and passengers being knocked to the ground when a severe thunderstorm blew through Port Canaveral, Florida.

Watch: Intense storm sends deck chairs flying, knocks down cruise ship passengers

Video recorded on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas shows deck chairs flying through the air and passengers being knocked to the ground when a severe thunderstorm blew through Port Canaveral, Florida.

Those who witnessed the mayhem told FOX 35 News that they had never seen anything like that on the water or even on land.

"It just turned crazy. It looked like a scene from the movie ‘Twister’ is exactly what I thought because you see these chairs flying up in the air," she said.

Lucas Sparrow was on board with his family when the chaos unfolded.

"People were getting blown, losing their hats, towels," said Sparrow.

The entire video one passenger shared with us was only four minutes long, showing how fast weather can move in and the need for warnings to make sure passengers are safe.


Video shows cruise passengers scrambling for safety as heavy rain and gusty winds battered Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas ship as it prepared to leave Port Canaveral, Florida. 

Watch: Florida cruise ship passengers scramble for safety during severe thunderstorm

Video shows cruise passengers scrambling for safety as heavy rain and gusty winds battered Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas ship as it prepared to leave Port Canaveral, Florida. 

FOX 35 News reached out to Royal Caribbean about the rough weather, and they asked about their protocol in such as situation. 

FOX 35 received the following response Wednesday morning: 

"On Friday, June 16, while departing from Port Canaveral, Independence of the Seas encountered a sudden gust of high winds. This lasted for a brief period and there were no serious injuries to our guests or crew. Independence of the Seas continued its regularly scheduled 3-night itinerary, arriving to Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, on Saturday morning, as scheduled."

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WFTS - Tampa, Florida

Cruise ship hit by 100-mph winds, turning around

It was a scary night at sea for the passengers aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas as they were caught in hurricane-force winds off the Carolina coast Sunday night.

Furniture tumbled over, ceilings fell down and table-top objects crashed to the ground as the ship tried to regain it's footing amid 30-foot waves, with the company reporting no serious injuries.

just a little bit of the damage so far. boat is still rocking. #anthemoftheseas #overthis #150mphwinds #rocktheboat — Leanna Petrone (@LeannaPetrone) February 8, 2016

About 4,000 people were ordered to stay in their cabins.

Some passengers reported the ship listing at 45 degrees.

At 949 pm we had winds of 106 knots, which is about 121 miles per hour, and that wasn't even the worst of it — Vinnie (@NYR230) February 8, 2016

The ship left New Jersey Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas, but instead will dock in Cape Canaveral, Florida, because of the weather.

Royal Caribbean says the ship’s seaworthiness has not been affected. "On Sunday, February 7, while sailing to Port Canaveral, Florida, Anthem of the Seas experienced extreme wind and sea conditions, with wind speeds higher than what was forecasted. In an abundance of caution, the Captain asked all guests to stay in their stateroom until the weather improved,” it said in a statement.

“At this time there have not been any serious injuries reported. The ship has sustained some damage to the public areas and guest staterooms, which in no way affect the sea-worthiness of the ship."

...and some more. #anthemoftheseas #overthis #rocktheboat — Leanna Petrone (@LeannaPetrone) February 8, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard was also aware of the incident. "After seeing pictures and people’s comments on Twitter and other social media platforms, the USCG contacted the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas to check in,” spokesman Mark Barney said. “The ship said that everything was fine, and no distress calls have been issued.

“The ship was caught in the storm off the shore of Charleston. There are 40 plus knot winds and large swells. The USCG will continue to monitor the situation."

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Severe Weather Causes Major Cruise Disruptions, Miami Port Back Open

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Doug Parker

  • December 17, 2023

Several cruise ships from various different lines had to face major itinerary changes in their itineraries due to severe weather conditions that impacted areas ranging from the Bahamas to South Florida. Ships impacted ranged from South Florida up to New York City.

Port Miami Closed for Hours

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PortMiami closed to cruise traffic on Sunday, reopening early Sunday afternoon. The South Florida cruise port posted on X early Sunday : “There will be a delay on Sunday, December 17th embarkation due to recent weather conditions. Please contact your cruise line for instructions and more information.”

The embarkation of Miami-based cruise ships is scheduled to begin later on Sunday afternoon.

Sky Princess Alters Course

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The Sky Princess, a cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, was originally set to sail a 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas with a scheduled stop at Princess Cays on December 17.

However, due to rough sea conditions, the ship was forced to change its route. Captain Fotezze informed passengers that the ship would instead travel along the Old Bahama Channel towards San Juan, Puerto Rico. This decision was made in order to avoid the operation of water shuttles in unsafe conditions and to ensure a comfortable cruise for passengers. As a result, the planned visit to Princess Cays had to be skipped.

Carnival Freedom’s Cruise to Nowhere

carnival freedom 2023 funnel 1

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom had to cancel all ports of call during a 4-night Bahamas cruise due to unfavorable weather. The ship was originally scheduled to visit Nassau and Princess Cays, with Freeport as a replacement port.

Unfortunately, due to adverse weather conditions, the ship was unable to make its scheduled stop in Freeport. As a result, the ship had to go on an unplanned cruise with no particular destination. To make up for the inconvenience caused to the passengers, each stateroom was provided with a $200 onboard credit, and a 50% future cruise credit was also offered.

MSC Meraviglia and Royal Caribbean Adjust Plans

MSC meraviglia in port miami

The MSC Meraviglia was supposed to sail from New York City to the south, but due to the stormy weather in Florida and the Bahamas, it changed its route to the north. The cruise ship made stops in Boston, Portland, and St. John in Canada.

Royal Caribbean International also made some changes to the itineraries of Allure of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. Allure of the Seas took shelter between small islands to ensure guest comfort, while Mariner of the Seas modified its itinerary to Costa Maya, Mexico, instead of visiting the Bahamas as planned.

Holland America Line and Margaritavill e Adjust


The post-dry dock service of Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam had to be shortened by two days due to severe weather, which led to significant changes in its itinerary.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise canceled its December 15 sailing completely and advised guests to contact the cruise line for updates and rebooking options.

Weather continues to impact cruises

A powerful storm system, after causing record-breaking rainfall and disruption in Florida, is now moving northeast, bringing intense rain and thunderstorms to the Mid-Atlantic and New England. Meteorologist Brendan Schaper reported record-breaking daily rainfall in central Florida, with Orlando International Airport receiving over double its 1912 record.

The storm, expected to bring severe weather including potential tornadoes to North Carolina and eastern South Carolina, will advance northward to eastern Canada by Monday night.

The last time PortMiami was closed for a significant amount of time was in late June when a pleasure craft struck a ferry boat in the channel.

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Dubbed the cruise capital of the world, Florida is also a top-ranked vacation destination in its own right. Hugged by the calm, blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico on its western coast and the cool, sapphire-blue waters of the Atlantic on its eastern coast, it's a true beach lover's paradise. Thanks to the Sunshine State's location, cruises from Florida provide some of the best and most preferred ports to eastern, western and southern Caribbean isles.

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With four major ports, sailing out of Florida offers so many exciting options to explore on a day trip before or after your cruise. Find cruising near you from Miami , Fort Lauderdale , Orlando (Port Canaveral)  or Tampa and you'll find plenty of things to do to soak up the sun and culture in the Florida region.

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While you can certainly fit plenty of adventure into a short cruise from Florida, more time means more thrills — and more islands to explore. Set sail from Tampa, Orlando, Miami or Fort Lauderdale for a  week long travel vacation  that hits some of the best ports in the Caribbean.

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Fall, winter and spring are hands-down the best seasons to visit Florida and the nearby Caribbean islands weather-wise. During these cooler months, temperatures hover in the 80s while the sun is out and dip into the 70s at night. If you can handle the heat, though, June through August are considered off-season in Florida and the Caribbean and see far fewer tourists than the rest of the year. When packing for your Florida cruise or vacation, make sure you don't forget sunscreen, polarized sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. No matter what season you choose to visit, you can typically expect bright and sunny conditions when you vacation in Florida. Plus, all of the top things to do in Florida take place outdoors, so you'll be catching plenty of rays. 

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Best Fishing Trips in Florida

Where are the best fishing spots in Florida? What is the top location to plan a fishing trip before my cruise? Start your search for the ideal fishing getaway.

Stingray and reef fish swimming by at a Florida Aquarium. Florida.

Top 10 Best Aquariums in Florida

Plan a day trip before or after your cruise to make the most of your vacation travels from Florida with a visit to the top 10 best aquariums.

Florida wetlands walking tour woman tourist taking photo with camera of wildlife animal of the Everglades, Keys, USA.

Top 10 Florida Birding Hotspots | Royal Caribbean Cruises

Explore the best bird-watching spots in Florida! Our comprehensive guide offers insider tips and information for an unforgettable birding vacation.

Pack plenty of sunscreen for your cruise from Florida. It's called the Sunshine State for a reason!

If you're planning to spend a few days exploring Florida, consider renting a car. Driving is the easiest way to get around the state.

You'll be able to use much of your Caribbean cruise wardrobe while you're vacationing in Florida — sandals, bathing suits, cover-ups and breezy linen.

Bold Flavors Experience Local Florida Favorites

Florida is a melting pot of peoples as well as cultures — and the food scene here certainly reflects that. To the south, you'll find lots of Caribbean and Latin American influence in every bite. Venture north, to taste the flavors of the state’s local vegetable farms and fresh fishing markets.

Caribbean Conch Crab and Shrimp Patties with Mango Chutney

Dine on Delectable Conch Fritters

The local favored crispy, golden-fried conch fritters are a harmony of Caribbean and Southern cooking influences. You'll find them at seafood restaurants from South Florida all the way up the coast.

Deep Fried Pieces of Alligator Meat, Florida

Tuck into Some Gator Tail

Though it sounds adventurous, gator tail actually tastes a little bit like chicken and is quite delicious when cooked right. The tail is typically deep-fried and enjoyed either as an appetizer or an entrée with a spicy or sweet dipping sauce.

Key Lime Pie Slice, Key West, Florida

Taste the Top Key Lime Pie

The Florida Keys are famous for many things — key lime pie among them. Traditionally made with key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and a crumbly vanilla pie crust and served cold, this sweet and tart treat is the perfect remedy for the Florida heat.


Cruises from Florida take you to some of the most beautiful jewels of the Caribbean. Whether you choose to sail to Mexico, the Bahamas, Haiti or Jamaica, you're in for captivating shores, colorful coastal villages and plenty of island vibes.

Wave Crashing Against Rocks on a Sunny Day in Frederiksted Beach, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

A Beach Roatan, Honduras

Roatan, Honduras

Zip Lines on the Coast, Labadee, Haiti

Labadee, Haiti

Beach Scenery with Lush Landscape, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Montego Bay, Jamaica

River Raft Couple Activity, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Crystal Caves. Belize City.

Belize City, Belize

Aerial view of the Great Salt Pond, Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Stingrays Swimming,  George Town, Grand Cayman

George Town, Grand Cayman

Family Sitting by the Coast. Basseterre, St. Kitts Nevis

Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis

Magens Bay, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, Costa Maya, Mexico

Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico

Port Aerial Coast, Falmouth, Jamaica

Falmouth, Jamaica

Tulum God Of Wind Temple Ruins Panoramic, Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico

The Southernmost Point of the Continental US, Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida

Tropical Beach Aerial View, Banana Coast, Honduras

Banana Coast (Trujillo), Honduras

A Horse Eating Grass under the Palm Trees, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

El Malecon, Mazatlan Mexico

Mazatlan, Mexico

Rocks Beach Shore, Tortola, British Virgin Island

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Beach Shore Malecon, Yucatan, Mexico

Yucatan (Progreso), Mexico

Arrivals Plaza Perfect Day at Coco Cay Aerial

Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas

Ensenada Mexico La Bufadora Baja California

Ensenada, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Lovers Beach

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Huatulco, Mexico Tiki Hut Tanning Chairs

Huatulco, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Downtown Panoramic View

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Manzanillo, Mexico Aerial View

Manzanillo, Mexico

British Island Gorda Baths Woman Snorkeling

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Puerto Plata Dominican Republic Aerial

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Sandy Caribbean Beach with Coconut Palm Trees and Blue Sea. Saona Island

La Romana, Dominican Republic

Grand Turk Island Coast

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos


Sunny Day Miami Beach Skyrisers, Miami, Florida

Previewing: Promo Dashboard Campaigns

My Personas

Code: ∅.

cruise florida wind

Windstar's Flagship Sailing Ship

On any day, our 342-guest flagship, Wind Surf , the world’s largest sailing ship, draws admiring glances as she glides majestically into port with her tall sails billowing. And her beauty is far more than skin deep. During their cruise, you will find the perfect setting for ‘making an entrance’ in the beautiful reception area – and, appropriately, that’s only the beginning.

When you return to your stateroom, the luxury gets personal. Windstar’s signature bowl of fresh fruit will still be waiting for you, along with rich tufted headboards, soft seascape colors, beautiful new upholstery, and fine count Egyptian cotton linens welcome you to an oasis of relaxing indulgence.

Wind Surf underwent a significant renovation of public spaces and suites, including an expanded lounge with new lights and sound for upcoming stage performances. Relax into the destinations you’re visiting at the new World Spa by Windstar , which will offer regional spa treatments, including massage styles like Swedish, Japanese Shiatsu and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi. An Officer’s Suite, which might be the only one of its kind, provides you with the chance to stay in the heart of the officer quarters tucked right behind the Bridge.

Everything about Wind Surf speaks of welcome. Come aboard and see it for yourself.

Windstar has always been known for our iconic sailing ships, and now we are embarking on a multi-year refresh of the Wind Class ships. The initiative, Setting Sails: A Wind Class Refresh , brings the tight-knit connection of the Windstar community to the forefront through the redesign of public spaces and staterooms. From a revamped lobby to a new pool and larger pool bar, new World Spa by Windstar to a redesigned lounge, this initiative also includes intricate details like new teak decks and décor for a timeless and welcoming experience. Wind Surf will complete her redesign in 2024 and 2026.

cruise florida wind

Queen Size Bed with Luxurious Linens Waffle Weave Robe and Slippers TV with DVD Player Fully Stocked Mini Bar/Refrigerator Safe L'Occitane Bath Amenities Fresh Fruit Hair Dryers and 110/220 outlets Wi-Fi (internet cards can be purchased at reception) Bathroom with granite countertop and shower Granite vanity with magnifying mirror

cruise florida wind

  • CAPACITY: 342 Guests
  • STATEROOMS: 150 deluxe ocean view staterooms
  • SUITES: 18 deluxe ocean view suites
  • BRIDGE DECK SUITES: 2 deluxe ocean view bridge suites
  • OFFICER'S SUITE: 1, located in the officer's quarters
  • DECKS: 6 decks
  • CREW:  210 international staff
  • SHIP'S REGISTRY: Bahamas
  • LENGTH: 535 feet (162 meters) at waterline; 617 feet (187meters) including bowsprit
  • DRAFT: 16.5 feet (5 meters)
  • TONNAGE: 14,745 gross registered tons (grt)
  • BEAM: 66 feet (20 meters)
  • SAILS: 7 triangular, self-furling, computer-operated sails with 26,881 square feet (or 2,600 square meters) of Dacron surface area
  • MASTS: 5 at 221 feet (67.5 meters)
  • ENGINES: 4 diesel electric generating sets, 2 electrical propulsion motor
  • SPEED: 10 to 12 knots with engines only; up to 15 knots wind and engine assisted

Cruisers stuck at sea as rough weather closes cruise ports: 'I'm bummed'

Cruisers stuck at sea as weather shuts ports.

Rough seas are impacting cruise ships trying to sail away from danger.  Some cruisers are stuck at sea because it isn’t safe to dock at certain ports. 

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. - Rough seas are impacting cruise ships trying to sail away from danger. Some cruisers are stuck at sea because it isn’t safe to dock at certain ports.  

Longtime cruisers didn't think there would be any weather disruptions in December, so they were surprised by the weather system. They are making the most of their vacation, but sailing around in circles isn't what they were hoping for. 

"Instead of walking around on islands and enjoying the nice weather, you’re kind of stuck on a cruise ship out in the water," said Daniel Ruiz who’s on board the Carnival Vista. 

He’s cruised before, and this trip hasn’t been smooth sailing. 

"I’m bummed that we didn’t get to go to Grand Turks," he said. 


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It wasn’t safe for the ship to dock, so Ruiz missed out on his pre-planned ATV excursion. Instead, he’s making the most of what he can on board the ship. 

"Eating – you know. Eating. You can never get away from the eating. There’s always food," Ruiz said chuckling. 

He isn’t alone in that choice. 

"Eat your weight in whatever the heck you can get a hold of. Get the drink package," said Larry and Kristen Cantor, who are first-time cruisers. 

The Cantor family is a little bummed because they had been planning this Christmas cruise for a while. They’re sailing on Allure of the Seas and didn’t make it to Coco Cay because of bad weather.  

"It is kind of a letdown, but that’s life. You got to learn to deal with it," Larry added.  

The howling wind they can hear from their balcony is a constant reminder of how rough conditions are. Some pool decks even had to close on Thursday to make sure passengers stayed on board.  

"When we were up on the top deck where the pools and things are, you could see people looking like they were going to get blown away," Larry concluded. 

Island Windjammer Cruises

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Island Windjammer Cruises

If you’re looking for a sailing vacation ruled by the sun, moon, and tides, you’ve found it!

Island Windjammers offers six, ten, and twelve-night sailings aboard our classic clipper ship Vela, schooner Diamant, and sailing yacht Lyra! Vela hosts twenty-six guests, Diamant accommodates ten guests, while our new addition Lyra has room for eight. This is small ship cruising at its finest.

Our Island Girls are fully-crewed and feature air-conditioned cabins, private bathrooms, portholes, and all modern comforts.

Your Captain sets the course. Each day is a new adventure. Free your mind from schedules, and savor each moment as the crew hoists the sails, the trade winds fill the canvas, and you set off to your next secret island destination.

There’s no rush. You’ll have plenty of time ashore to explore vibrant villages, sip rum at quirky beach bars, or laze the days away on pristine beaches.

Even the nights are magical. Shipmates gather on deck to dance, share a joke or tell tales of the day’s adventures. Lean on the rail, and steal a kiss under a canopy of stars.

Live in the now, and breathe it all in. This is island life--and you’re living it!

cruise florida wind


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Windstar Cruises

History, review, itineraries, ships, deck plans, news.

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Windstar Cruises fleet

Star legend, star breeze, wind spirit, review of windstar cruises.

One of the industry's top-luxury ship travel brands , Windstar Cruises ( is a passenger shipping company operating a fleet of smaller-sized vessels (sailing ships and superyachts). The largest yachts have max passenger capacity 310 (per vessel). The company offers exotic itineraries visiting 330+ destinations worldwide, including in the Caribbean, Central America, Asia, South Pacific (Australia New Zealand), Europe (Mediterranean, Baltic). The company is currently run by Andrew Todd (Xanterra Travel Collection's and Windstar's CEO).

In May 2014, Windstar added to its fleet of sailing yachts the superyacht Star Pride , which was followed by the sisterships Star Breeze and Star Legend (May 2015). The additional capacity resulted in new itineraries (including cruises through Panama Canal , Costa Rica, Iceland) and allowed Windstar to sail in Tahiti year-round (since 1987). In 2014, Conde Nast awarded the brand "World's Best Small-Ship Cruise Line" (Readers Choice Awards).

Company History and Changes

The ultra-premium cruise line brand was established by Karl Gosta Andren in 1984 and initially named "Windstar Sail Cruises". Its first boat ( Wind Star ) was launched in 1986, followed by Wind Song (1987, sunk in 2003) and Wind Spirit (1988). Two additional sail ships were ordered from "Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre" (shipyard in Le Havre France , 1905-1999) - Wind Saga and Wind Surf . The newbuilds were planned to be 5-masted (computer-controlled) schooners, twice bigger (by passenger capacity ) and 1/3 longer (660 ft - compared to the older 440-ft fleetmates).

The company's current President is Christopher Prelog (succeeding John Delaney), while Windstar Cruises and Xanterra Parks and Resorts' current CEO is Andrew Todd. Xanterra Travel Collection's other senior executives include Dianna Rom (VP of Sales), Betsy O'Rourke (CMO/Chief Marketing Officer), Janet Bava (CCO/Chief Commercial Officer), Kristin Badgett (VP of Revenue Management & Itinerary Planning), Paul Barrett (VP of Technical Operations), Gina Smith (Senior Director of Finance), Peter Tobler (Director of Hotel Operations), Michael Inman (Senior Director of Marine, Safety & Environmental Operations). John Gunner (VP of Expansion Projects), Toby Skey (VP of Human Resources), Kevin Dillman (Senior Director of Central Reservations), Stijn Creuptlandt (VP of Hotel Operations & Product Development).

In April 2024, the company's Guest Services department was rebranded to Vacation Planning and Jaymi Fiveash was appointed as Senior Director. She oversees all reservations, the flight program, all pre-cruise operations and the shipboard cruise consultants.

In December 2023, Windstar employed Patricia Gonzalez as VP of Marketing (who previously worked for Azamara , Celebrity , RCG/Royal Caribbean Group , Unique Vacations Inc) and Dane Neal Cox as Creative Director (previously employed by AmaWaterways ).

Windstar Cruises logo

In 1987, HAL-Holland America Line purchased 50% of Windstar Sail Cruises, and in 1988 - the rest of the company. In 1989, HAL became a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation . The shipbuilding option for Wind Saga and Wind Surf was passed up. The French Government assisted in building these vessels for Club Med. They were launched as "Club Med I" and "Club Med II". Carnival Corp (via HAL) retained rights of the first refusal for purchase. In 1998, Windstar acquired only Club Med 1 (renamed to Wind Surf). Club Med 2 was purchased by the private French company Club Med SA (subsidiary of Fosun International Ltd / 1992-founded, Shanghai -headquartered Chinese investment company).

In March 2007, Windstar was sold to Ambassadors International for USD 100 million. On April 1, 2011, Ambassadors filed for bankruptcy. Windstar was planned to be sold to Whippoorwill Associates Inc (White Plains NY). However, through a 2-day bid in Bankruptcy court in Delaware, the company was acquired by Anschutz Corporation for USD 39 million. Currently, Windstar Cruises is a subsidiary of Xanterra Parks and Resorts (USA's largest national and state park concession management company).

On February 19, 2013, was announced that Windstar had completed the purchase of Seabourn 's 3 mega-yachts (Star Breeze, Star Pride, Star Legend). Star Pride entered service on May 5, 2014, with inaugural voyage Barcelona to Rome . Windstar increased its fleet in May 2015 (from 4 to 6 yachts) with Star Legend and Star Breeze. Both yachts underwent 3-week USD 17 million drydock refurbs in Genoa Italy , before the christening ceremony in May. The 212-passenger Legend and Breeze received complete upgrades of all cabins, dining venues, public areas.

For 2018-Q1, the company reported 40% on bookings, with wave pricing up 30% (over 2017). In 2018 were introduced nearly 150 new cruise ports, as well as new itineraries and destinations. Most boats started to offer more overnight stays, which drove bookings from repeat customers. Tours and shipboard enrichment programs for the new regions, as well as onboard dining (local cuisine), were enhanced. 2018's B2B bookings (on back-to-back cruises ) featured a new 14-day dining menu - fully integrated the "James Beard Foundation" signature menu items.

In July 2018, Windstar announced its partnership with Luggage Forward (USA-based luggage shipping company). The new service allows passengers to ship their luggage doorstep-to-stateroom (and back home again), thus truly traveling light. Luggage Forward provides premier door-to-door shipping services to 200 countries worldwide (including over 150 cruise ports). The company's own team of customs specialists handles the country-specific paperwork to ensure on-time deliveries. Travelers can track the shipment in real-time. Luggage Forward service can be booked online or via phone. Rates are fixed, without additional charges or fees applied. Luggage's arrival on time and safety is guaranteed. Luggage Forward offers money-back plus USD 500 on-time guarantee.

In early-February 2019, the company announced "Club 180" program designed to reward top-performing travel agencies. The amenities that they can offer to potential customers include free Wi-Fi, laundry, OBC, priority services, benefits for travel agents, plus Windstar's support on marketing-sales. The 3-level "Club 180" program was initially based on sales results in 2018, with membership renewed annually (adding new members in December).

As of 2020, Windstar cruise itineraries include 330 ports/islands globally, of which 50 were newly added for season 2020-2021. Among the most popular destinations are Australia New Zealand (and South Pacific Islands), Alaska, Western Caribbean, Europe.

In late-February 2021, Windstar announced the relocation of its headquarters from Seattle WA to Miami FL , planned for June 2022.

In mid-November 2021 was announced that Windstar starts listing all-inclusive prices for the voyages of the 2020-2021 reconstructed Star Plus-Class ships. The new pricing (on the company's website and in all sales materials) is in USD (per person with double occupancy) and inclusive of the base cruise fare, unlimited beverages (wine by the glass, beers, cocktails, brand coffee/teas), Wi-Fi, crew gratuities.

In July 2022, Windstar became an FCCA Member Line, joining the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association as its 23rd member.

In February 2023, Windstar launched Starlink Maritime's satellite internet capabilities fleetwide. Previously, all Windstar ships used for internet services Anuvu (geostationary satellite technology). Starlink amplified Anuvu, delivering reliable and faster internet via Low Earth Orbit satellites using lasers so communication/connections are made even at sea (further away from land-based stations).

In March 2023 was announced the partnership with NHA/National Health Association (1948-founded nonprofit) by which (was introduced fleetwide (by June) a new whole-foods/plant-based dining menu, in addition to the existing vegetarian and vegan dishes. Signature dishes from the new menu are Baked Cauliflower Croquette (with sauteed spinach), Penne Rigate (pasta with vegetables), Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas.

In April 2024 was announced that the company would add two new superyachts to its fleet - Star Seeker (2025 Dec) and Star Explorer (2026 Dec). The shipbuilder is the WestSEA Shipyard in Viana do Castelo (Portugal) . The ships are with max capacity of 224 passengers (112 staterooms) and with all-suite accommodations.

(NEW) All-Inclusive Beverage Package

In May 2019, Windstar Cruises introduced the "All-In Package" - the company's first all-inclusive package that includes unlimited Wi-Fi and laundry service, hotel and drinks gratuities, plus the "Captain's Exclusive Beverage Package" (premium wines by the glass, beers, mini-bar beverages, cocktails). All-In Package's cost is USD 89 per person, per day. The all-inclusive package can be purchased online (pre-cruise) or on the ship (up through day 2 of the voyage).

"Captain's Exclusive Beverage Package" includes all beers (domestic and imported), wines/sparkling wines by the glass (33 selections), liqueurs, cordials, aperitifs, cocktails, all cabin mini-bar items. For the cocktails, passengers may choose from 40+ liquor brands (daily rotating, subject to availability).

WINDSTAR's Star Ships refurbishments 2020 drydock reconstructions

On November 15, 2018, Windstar Cruises announced the company's "Star Plus Initiative" - drydock refit and refurbishment program budgeted USD 250 million. The project was partially financed through Export Credit facility guaranteed by SACE Italy (financial and insurance products and services). The "Star Plus" drydocking project includes enlarging (stretching) and engine upgrades for the fleet's three Star-Class boats (in brackets - completion dates) - Star Breeze (February 20, 2020), Star Legend (July 2, 2020) and Star Pride (November 20, 2020).

Windstar's "Star Plus" project increased the fleet's capacity by 24%. Following its completion in 2021, the project resulted in bigger capacity (254 to 320 passengers, 140 to 190 crew), increased GT tonnage/volume (9975 to 12995 tons), increased length (134 to 159 m), more staterooms (106 to 156), adding new venues and public spaces, machinery upgrades (new Wartsila marine diesel engines). The project was scheduled for the period October 2019 through November 2020, at Fincantieri 's shipyards in Palermo (Sicily Island, Italy) and Trieste (Italy) .

The ships' drydock lengthening included cutting each vessel in two and installing a new (prefabricated) midship section with length 25 m (83 ft). The vessel's LOA length increased from 134 m (439 ft) to 159 m (522). The midship section also has an additional elevator. These sections were built (pre-fabricated and assembled) in Trieste, then barged to Palermo to be inserted into the vessels.

Following the drydocks, each yacht now has 2 new dining venues (Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen), new / expanded retail shopping space (Signature Shop), enlarged Gym (Fitness Center with Motion Studio for classes), expanded wellness complex (WindSpa by Steiner), new bar lounge (deck 5), larger sundeck and swimming pool (deck 7), new tender loading area (deck 3 midship), two new tender boats (90-seat each), new whirlpool and enlarged swimming pool (on deck 8), expanded and upgraded staff-crew areas and crew cabins. The two new dining venues are a specialty restaurant (Cuadro 44, aft-portside on deck 6, the former Casino area) and a casual outdoor BBQ restaurant (Star Grill, adjacent to Star Bar on deck 8).

The ship's powerplant was upgraded from the original 4x Bergen diesel engines (model B33:45, combined power output 7,3 MW) to the new 4x Wartsila engines (model Wartsila 46F, combined output 5 MW) running on the cleaner ULSD (ultra-low sulfur diesel) fuel.

Each liner received 50 new cabins (to a total of 156), which (based on the total investment) resulted in shipbuilding cost per berth USD 267,000. Among the new cabins are two Midship Owner Suites and two enlarged Forward Grand Owner Suites - all located on Deck 6. All existing staterooms were completely refurbished, including bathrooms, balconies, sliding doors, furniture, equipment. The new public spaces and staterooms were designed by the NYC -based "The Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry".

Windstar ships

In 2016, Windstar Cruises scheduled Star Pride yacht's drydock refurbishment at the cost of USD 4,5 million. In the period 2014-2016, the company invested over USD 21,5 million in drydock refits and refurbishments of the newest yachts Pride, Breeze, and Legend.

All Windstar ships serve itineraries that mix exotic and marquee ports, top-notch cuisine and a variety of dining venues, superb service, and intimate small ship cruising. All ships of the line feature the luxury-minded 1.5-to-1 guest-to-crew ratio. Windstar cabins include flatscreen televisions, Bose SoundDock, L'Occitane amenities, fresh fruit, flowers, and indulgent bedding.

Each of the ships has a sports marina. In sports in which Windstar vessels are anchored, travelers can engage in water sports like swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, wind sailing, water skiing, and paddle-boating.

One of the greatest changes for Windstar Cruises, across its fleet, is the dining upgrade. Cuisine highlights the local fare of regions visited, including the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Tahiti, Asia, and the Mediterranean. The food is always the highest quality, with extra attention paid to passengers with special dietary needs. Ships' main restaurant, open-seating AmphorA, serves Continental-focused cuisine. Candles Grill provides a steakhouse-style menu. Stella Bistro, which is available only onboard Wind Surf, is a French-inspired, reservation-only venue. For breakfast and lunch, the intimate Veranda buffet restaurant combines food stations with made-to-order grilled items. It features both indoor and outdoor seating.

The most significant difference between Windstar's trio of sailing ships and the series of yachts is their stateroom size. On Windstar's Wind Spirit, Wind Surf and Wind Star, standard cabins measure just 188 sq.feet and have no verandas. Views are provided from porthole-style windows. Wind Surf offers 360-sq. foot suites which essentially are two standard cabins put together.

Star Pride and her siblings feature more spacious cabins, each measuring 277 sq.feet, with nice marble bathrooms including bathtubs. 36 of the staterooms have French balconies (large picture windows that open).

Windstar's "small ship" vacations create an intimate cruising experience, but the company's a la carte pricing strategy (unlike most luxury cruise lines) means passengers have to pay extra for airfare, shore excursions, beverages, fitness classes. The designated dress code is "Casual elegance", and that idea overtakes the onboard vibe. Cruisers leave formalwear at home in favor of day and night country club casual sportswear. Few are the organized activities and none of the typical Vegas-style revues.

Windstar passengers tend to be well-educated, well-traveled and active adults of all ages, mainly from UK, USA Canada, Australia New Zealand. They enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of a smaller cruise ship, the unique itineraries provided by Windstar, and the chance to travel under sail.

Culinary-themed cruises

For season 2018, James Beard Foundation (NYC-based US national non-profit culinary arts organization) launched "Culinary Collection" series on all eight Windstar cruise itineraries. Fleetwide, Windstar launched the James Beard culinary program with exclusive recipes and menus created by guest chefs (including Hugh Acheson, Renee Erickson, Andy Ricker, Mario Pagan, Keith Rhodes). As special guests, they were booked on 2018 themed voyages , also presenting (on a rotating basis) their original food recipes on the ships' menus throughout 2018. Along with guest chefs, Windstar's 2018 line-up also featured renowned sommeliers and mixologists on board.

  • The first "James Beard cruise" was themed "Icons of Southeast Asia" (January 20, 2018/14-day Hong Kong to Bangkok on Star Legend). Chef Andy Ricker presented Thai cuisine specialties. Each night, he served a signature dish in the ship's AmphorA dining room restaurant. He also hosted a private cooking demonstration.
  • The James Beard cruise ship menus are ticket price inclusive (at no additional charge). Each dinner menu onboard has signature recipes and beverages (including starter, entree, dessert) prepared by James Beard Foundation-recognized ship chef.
  • James Beard Chef dishes are notated on the menu and are free of charge (no additional fee is charged for their ordering).

On February 21, 2018, was officially announced that Windstar's exclusive partnership with James Beard Foundation expands through 2021.

In December 2022 was appointed Bjoern Wassmuth (previously employed by Seabourn) as Windstar's Culinary Director. He is responsible for the fleetwide menus and development of recipes and also provides overall supervision of the onboard dining program.

Shipboard cruise booking

In 2018, Windstar Cruises upgraded the company's shipboard cruise booking program. The new program now provides assistance with a dedicated Onboard Cruise Consultant. It was designed to help cruise passengers planning their future cruises on Windstar ships.

The program was inaugurated onboard Star Legend during the 14-day repositioning cruise from Laem Chabang (Thailand) to Hong Kong (China). In 2018, Onboard Cruise Consultants also received the fleet-mates Star Breeze, Star Pride, and Wind Surf.

Onboard booking gives Windstar passengers various discounts, extra value and bonus perks, including reduced deposits, savings, Yacht Club Membership (loyalty program) benefits, special offers, and promotions.

When the initial booking is made by a travel agent, he/she remains "Agent of Record" for the new onboard booking, which means the agent receives full credit (full commission) for the onboard booking. Windstar then emails to the travel agency to confirm the booking with the invoice and itinerary information.

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, Windstar canceled all voyages with pre-scheduled departures between March 14, 2020, through June 2021.

Operations resumed in 2021 on June 19 (Wind Star/Mediterranean-Greek Islands), July 10 (Star Breeze/Caribbean), July 15 (Wind Spirit/Tahiti), August 8 (Wind Surf/Mediterranean-Adriatic), September 4 (Star Legend/UK-British Isles). Star Pride ship restarts in 2022 (on April 1/Mediterranean from Lisbon). Star Pride's Caribbean 2021 program (roundtrips from Puerto Rico) was canceled.

All affected bookings received 125% refunds in FCC (future cruise credit) with rebooking or cash refund (100%) without rebooking. The FCC was transferred to a new booking of any Windstar itinerary departing through December 31, 2021. Rebookings must be made up to 15 days prior departure.

Windstar also changed its cancellation policy (Travel Assurance Booking Policy) to allow cancellations up to 15 days prior departure and receive a full refund (100%) in FCC. The FCC can be used on all itineraries through December 31, 2021. The company's travel agent commission policy (Star Promise) was expanded to pay commissions on all FCCs. For travel agencies (Travel Advisors), on May 18th is reintroduced Windstar's popular travel agent promotion "Sell 3, Sail Free". If the agent sells 3 staterooms (fully deposited), the agent (or a customer) sails for free on a Windstar cruise departing by April 30, 2021, paying only taxes, fees, port charges and gratuities.

Itinerary of Windstar Cruises

In August 2022 was announced the new 7-day "Beach Fun & Sun: A Remote Caribbean Getaway" itinerary for winter 2023. The voyage (scheduled for Star Pride and Wind Surf) visited the islands St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles) , Antigua , Saint-Barthelemy (France) , Anguilla (UK) , Jost Van Dyke (BVI/overnight stay) , Virgin Gorda (BVI) , and Tortola (BVI) .

Beach Fun & Sun was combinable with the 7-day "Classic Caribbean" itinerary into a 2-week B2B , as both itineraries alternate and depart from Philipsburg (St Maarten) . "Classic Caribbean" visits Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts , and Nevis Island , along with St Barths.

New in winter 2023 was the 7-day "Naturally Costa Rica" itinerary (roundtrip from Puerto Caldera-Puntarenas ) with maiden port calls in Nicaragua's San Juan del Sur and Corinto . Fares started at US$2700 pp with double occupancy. The new option combines with a Panama Canal itinerary for a 14-day B2B.

Other Windstar Caribbean favorites included "Yachtsman's Caribbean", "Windward Island Surfs & Sunsets" (7-day roundtrip from San Juan), "Windward Ways & Tobago Cays" (ABC Islands) and more.

Windstar's first "President’s Mystery Cruise” is currently scheduled to depart on April 19, 2025. The 7-day itinerary is without officially planned ports of call as the destinations remain a mystery to all passengers booked on the Star Legend ship.

Red Sea and Persian Gulf 2023-2024 itineraries (Star Legend)

Windstar's first voyages in the Red Sea and the Arabian/Persian Gulf were announced in August 2022. The 2023-2024 winter program starts in November 2023, on Star Legend .

The new 18-day "Wonders of Arabia" itinerary ( Piraeus-Athens to Dubai UAE ) transits Suez Canal and spends 5 days in Egypt and Jordan, and 2 days in Oman.

The 10-day "Sparkling Sands and Cities of the Persian Gulf" itinerary has scheduled 11 departures from Dubai to Muscat (Oman) , and the reverse. Highlights include overnights in Abu Dhabi UAE and Doha Qatar , a late night in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK City, UAE) , stops in Khasab (Musandam Oman) , Fujairah UAE , Sir Bani Yas Island (UAE private island) .

The 9-day "Arabian Nights and Egyptian Days" itinerary sails on 2 dates (one in each direction) from Jeddah to Aqaba-Petra (Jordan) , and the reverse. Highlights are the overnights in Egypt's Sharm El Sheikh and Safaga (port to Luxor ).

The 12-day "Red Sea Revelries" (Suez Canal cruise from Jeddah Saudi Arabia to Piraeus-Athens) features an overnight in Safaga/Luxor, later night in Sokhna , transitting the Suez, and a day in Heraklion (Crete Greece) .

Windstar sailing schedule 2025 summer

Deployment through the summer of 2025 includes 6 ships (3 motor yachts and 3 sailing yachts).

South Pacific Islands

In the South Pacific, the brand expands its program with the Marquesas Islands. In 2024 and 2025 debuts the 14-day "Tahitian Treasures & Magnificent Marquesas" itinerary ( Star Breeze ship ) visiting the Tuamotu Islands ( Fakarava , Rangiroa , Fatu Hiva/Omoa , Hiva Oa/Atuona , Nuku Hiva/Taiohae ), then the Society Islands ( Tahaa , Bora Bora /overnight, Moorea , Papeete ).

Mediterranean and Canary Islands

In 2024, Star Pride ship offers the 8-day "Captivating Canary Islands" itinerary (from Lisbon and to Las Palmas) visiting Madeira/Funchal (overnight) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (overnight).  In 2025, Windstar adds two new itineraries (10-day "Canary Island Idyll", and 8-day "Colorful Canary Islands") with overnight or late-night port stays.

In July 2024 debuts the 9-day "Adriatic Icons & Venetian Treasures" roundtrip from Venice ( Wind Spirit ship ).

Central and South America/Galapagos

In winter 2024 is scheduled the 7-day "Naturally Costa Rica" itinerary (Central and South America, Wind Star ship ) with maiden ports in Nicaragua ( San Juan del Sur and Corinto ) as well as a 14-day Panama Canal transition itinerary .

In December 2025 (Star Pride ship) Windstar introduces a new program in South America that includes the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) . The 16-day cruisetour "Marvels of Latin America" is between Colon Panama and Calao-Lima Peru. The itinerary includes a pre- or post-cruise package with a land tour to Machu Picchu (5-day tour) plus an optional mid-cruise tour to the Galapagos Islands (3-day tour with departures from either Manta or Guayaquil). The cruise-only 11-day "Marvels of Ecuador, Peru & the Panama Canal" itinerary offers an optional Galapagos tour.

Middle East

Windstar's Middle East itineraries were introduced in November 2023 ( Star Legend ship ) and also added in the ship's spring 2025 schedule (12 itineraries).

10-day from Dubai, UAE to Muscat, Oman /the reverse (with ports in Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and UAE). November 23rd features optional tickets to the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. A New James Beard Foundation voyage has been added to the 2/1/24 sail date, with guest chef TBD.

9-day from Jeddah Saudi Arabia to Aqaba-Petra Jordan /the reverse (with ports in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia)

18-day from Athens-Piraeus Greece to Dubai (with ports in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and UAE).

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Breaking news, my family was scammed out of a $15k carnival cruise — here’s how i’m fighting to get it back.

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A woman went viral sharing how her family was scammed out of her $15,000 Carnival Cruise . She claims that the cruise line won’t refund her or admit fault but has changed its website and policy.

Tiffany Banks was stunned when she realized that the trip she had been planning for a year was canceled without her knowledge and only a day before her family’s flight to catch the boat, she explained in a series of TikToks.

Tiffany Banks on TikTok

She shared that although the company won’t refund her money or “admit guilt” directly to her, they’ve updated their website and policy to better protect customers from having the same issue — which she insists is “admitting guilt without having to admit guilt.”

“Unfortunately, this guest failed to heed well-documented and very common travel safety and security advice,” a representative from Carnival told The Post.

The Kentucky woman was supposed to board the Carnival Celebration ship with her husband and their four kids to stay in the $12,000 Excel Presidential Suite — the ship’s largest room — and enjoy a whole schedule of excursions.

She claims she discovered that her vacation, which had been paid in full, was a wash after receiving a cancellation confirmation about an off-ship excursion, and she called to investigate.

That was when she learned that her trip had been canceled through the cruise line’s online system, which Banks insisted was not her doing.

Carnival allegedly told her the room they had booked was now reserved by another customer and offered the family two interior rooms — the cheapest on the ship — instead, but the mom denied the change feeling it was an inadequate replacement.

She also said that Carnival refused to offer a full refund; their cancellation policy states that no money will be returned within 15 days of the cruise date.

The family flew to Miami and tried to board the ship anyway, hoping for a last-minute solution, but were forced to watch the ship sail off without them, Banks said in a teary follow-up video.

Carnival cruise ship Celebration

A few days later, Carnival called Banks back to explain that she was the “victim of a form of identity theft” — but that there was no security breach on Carnival’s part, according to a recording of the call she shared on TikTok.

That was when she learned that she and her husband had accidentally shared their cruise booking reference number when posting a screenshot of an email with the countdown to their vacation on Facebook a few weeks out, she continued in a recent clip.

The same day they posted the booking number on Facebook, someone created an online Carnival account and added the number to their profile.

Tiffany Banks in a viral TikTok

Then, 48 hours before the cruise sail date, the person canceled the family’s entire cabin booking, the Carnival rep told Banks in the recording.

Banks said Carnival told her that it believes the IP address of the person who canceled was in British Columbia but it was unable to get the identity of the fraudster.

The company offered her future cruise credit for $10,404 contingent on the mom posting on social media “something to the effect of Carnival has now resolved the issue.”

Carnival Cruise website

But Banks said she wasn’t interested and questioned the ease with which someone was able to take over her booking with no verification process.

“We’re not sailing with Carnival ever again,” she said.

Banks claims that the attorney general of Florida has reached out to her as she’s now begun looking into taking legal action against Carnival claiming that she’s fighting for everyone who’s been “screwed” over by Carnival

“This is no longer just about me,” Banks said in a video. “This is me now wanting to really make a company change their policies and do what is right.”

“I would love for this to be a class action because big corporations should not be allowed to just take people’s money.”

In her most recent update, she claimed that people have messaged her and let her know that Carnival has updated their website and emailed people reminding them not to share their booking number in bold letters.

A move she believes is practically an admission of guilt.

“With a busy summer travel season underway, we are reminding our guests about several things to make their travel go smoothly,” a representative from Carnival told The Post.

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Tiffany Banks on TikTok


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The Alternative to Huge Cruises? 3 Masts, 28 Sails and Wind Power.

We checked out the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit on a Mediterranean cruise. In this era of gargantuan ships, its elegant clipper design, wooden decks and relatively small size stands out.

cruise florida wind

By Ceylan Yeğinsu

From the bridge of the three-masted windjammer, the Sea Cloud Spirit , the captain called out the words we’d all been waiting for.

“Let’s set the sails!” he cried, after turning off the engines, while maneuvering to maintain an optimum angle for his 18 deckhands to climb into the shrouds and unfurl the ship’s 44,132 square feet of sails by hand.

Like acrobats, the crew scurried up the masts to the upper topgallant sails that rose nearly 200 feet above us. The ship’s captain, Vukota Stojanovic, later insisted that none of it was for show. “Whenever there is an opportunity to sail, we sail,” he said.

cruise florida wind

For the next hour, the crew hauled the ropes until the 28 sails were billowing in the wind, propelling the 452-foot-long ship — the world’s largest passenger sailing vessel on which the sails are raised by hand — toward its first port of call, Portofino, Italy.

At a time when cruise lines are packing their ever-more-gargantuan ships with water parks and basketball courts, the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit, with its old-fashioned clipper design and wooden decks, stands out. It is the newest ship from the Hamburg-based Sea Cloud Cruises , and while it is the company’s biggest, Sea Cloud said it wanted to leave space for passengers to connect to the surrounding elements.

“Wherever you are on the ship, it feels like you are sitting on the water,” said Amelia Dominick, 71, a retired real estate agent from Cologne, Germany, who was on her third cruise onboard the Sea Cloud Spirit.

I had arrived for a four-night “taster sailing” from Nice, France, to the Ligurian region of Italy, designed to entice passengers to sign up for a longer cruise. Here’s what I found.

The ship and cabins

The Spirit has many comforts and luxuries, including a fitness center, library, hair salon and a spa with a Finnish sauna that overlooks the sea. The deck layouts are spacious, with nooks carved out for privacy and relaxation.

Sixty-nine spacious cabins have windows that open onto the sea. My room, a junior suite on the third deck, had two large arched windows, mahogany tables, a balcony and a comfortable couch and armchair. The marble bathroom was lavish, with a gold-plated sink and large jetted bathtub.

The elegant interior design is inspired by the original Sea Cloud, built in 1931 for Marjorie Merriweather Post, the American heiress of the General Foods Corporation, with glossy wooden panels and gold trimmings. The Sea Cloud was the largest private sailing yacht in the world before Post handed it over to the U.S. Navy for use as a weather-reporting vessel during World War II. The four-mast, 64-passenger ship has since been restored to its former glory and will sail across the Aegean and Adriatic this summer.

cruise florida wind

The experience felt authentic — even before the sails were set — with a detailed safety drill. On most cruises, the drill entails a safety video and signing in at an assembly point. But here, passengers put on their life jackets and walked through emergency scenarios that included rationing food supplies and fishing from the lifeboat.

Each day, the sails were set, even during heavy rain and wind speeds over 30 knots. Guests wanting to participate in the rigging are usually invited to do so, but the weather conditions made it too risky for this sailing.

“It was amazing to watch the work go into putting the sails up and down and to experience the wind power pulling the ship so fast without the engines,” said Malte Rahnenfuehrer, a 50-year-old psychologist from Zurich, who was traveling with his partner and two children.

A man with dark hair wears navy blue and white clothing as the captain of a large windjammer sailing vessel. He stands on deck, a walkie-talkie-like device in his hand, beneath the ropes and riggings of the vessel's sails.

The captain

It is rare for cruise passengers to see the ship’s captain after the initial welcome drinks or gala dinner. But Capt. Vukota Stojanovic was omnipresent throughout the cruise, from setting sails to lifeguarding to mingling with guests.

Originally from Montenegro, Captain Stojanovic piloted container ships for years. When he was asked to consider helming the original Sea Cloud nearly 10 years ago, he hesitated because he had no experience sailing. Even after he learned the ropes — and there are 340 ropes (known as running rigging) on the vessel — he was unsure. “I grew to love the sailings, the boats, the crew the lifestyle, but I still felt I belonged on container ships,” he said. “It would be a big adjustment, especially because I would have to shave every day,” he joked.

Eventually, he accepted the opportunity and worked tirelessly to learn how to sail and operate the ship. Today, he keeps an “open bridge” policy, allowing passengers to visit the control room, even when he is wrestling with the wind.

“The crew and the passengers are all part of the experience, and I like to meet people and receive their feedback,” Captain Stojanovic said.


Sea Cloud Cruises aspires to take a “gentle” approach, using wind power to drive its ships wherever possible, even if that means changing course for optimal weather conditions. When sailing is not possible, the Spirit has two diesel-electric engines that run on low-sulfur marine diesel fuel. The company is also working with ports that have shore power capabilities to plug into the local electric power.

Onboard, there is an emphasis on reusable bottles and paper straws, and crew members separate solid waste to be compacted and removed when in port.

Excursions and Activities

We made stops in Portofino, San Remo, Italy, and St.-Tropez, France, anchoring offshore and getting to land by tender — a contrast to the big cruise ships with their loud horns and thick plumes of exhaust spewing from their funnels.

For passengers wanting to take a dip (there is no pool), the crew marked an area in the water with floats and an inflatable slide. The water was frigid, but many passengers took the plunge from the swimming deck. Guests could also take “Zodiac Safaris” around the ship to get views of the vessel from the water.

cruise florida wind

Excursions ranged from food and wine tours to e-biking and beach trips. In Portofino, passengers were free to explore the sights independently, including the Castello Brown Fortress and the lighthouse on Punta del Capo rock. There was ample time to eat meals on shore as the ship did not depart until 11 p.m. Over the summer, the Sea Cloud Spirit will sail to Spain, Portugal, France and the Azores, among other destinations. On Nov. 11, she will depart for St. Maarten in the Caribbean for the winter.

Wherever the vessel goes, said Mirell Reyes, president of Sea Cloud Cruise for North America, the company tries to “stay away from the crowds and ports where big cruise ships spit out 6,000 passengers.”

Summer prices, which include food and beverages, range from $3,995 for a four-night sailing in a superior cabin to $9,420 for a veranda suite. Seven-night sailings cost between $6,995 and $16,495.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Ceylan Yeginsu is a travel reporter for The Times who frequently writes about the cruise industry and Europe, where she is based. More about Ceylan Yeğinsu

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Th ree-Year Cruise, Unraveled:  The Life at Sea cruise was supposed to be the ultimate bucket-list experience : 382 port calls over 1,095 days. Here’s why  those who signed up are seeking fraud charges  instead.

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    Sunbather, Daytona Beach, Florida (1985) by Library of Congress is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0 Florida legislature is about to ban offshore wind turbines in state waters, which wouldn't be put ...

  27. World's Largest Offshore Wind Turbines Begin Testing in China

    Port of Seattle Requires All Homeported Cruise Ships to Use Shore Power. Published Jun 12, 2024 11:55 PM by The Maritime Executive The Port of Seattle has become the first port in the United ...

  28. My family was scammed out of a $15K Carnival Cruise

    00:00. 01:18. A woman went viral sharing how her family was scammed out of her $15,000 Carnival Cruise. She claims that the cruise line won't refund her or admit fault but has changed its ...

  29. The Alternative to Huge Cruises? 3 Masts, 28 Sails and Wind Power

    We checked out the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit on a Mediterranean cruise. In this era of gargantuan ships, its elegant clipper design, wooden decks and relatively small size stands out.

  30. Jackson v. Celebrity Cruises Inc. 1:2024cv22305

    Celebrity Cruises Inc. Case Number: 1:2024cv22305: Filed: June 14, 2024: Court: US District Court for the Southern District of Florida: Presiding Judge: Roy K Altman: Nature of Suit: Marine: Cause of Action: 28 U.S.C. § 1332 Diversity-Personal Injury: Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff: RSS Track this Docket